Question about stirring mash

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by dfj, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. dfj

    dfj Active Member

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    So mention to a commercial brew pub owner who also sells home brew supplies about using my new Brewer's edge
    I told him i mash for 60 minutes at 152 but the mash was thick using 1.33 qts per pound of grain for a Pale ale ( brewer's edge recommended amount)
    So i told him I stirred the mash every 15 minutes just to make sure everything mashed ok.
    He said don't stir as it can release off tastes from the malt. He said leave it alone and add more water such that a spoon will not stand up in the mash. He runs a 1BBL brewpub for 8+ years and his beers are excellent

    Your thoughts on stirring mash during the 1 hour mash in after you mixed it to remove dough balls?
     
  2. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    I stir real good at the beginning to get rid of dough balls, and then I only stir if I'm mashing too high. Pulling grains up from the bottom of the pot can circulate the temperature to where I need it to be, then add lid and let it do it's thing.
     
  3. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I stir when my ph adjustments are added and also if the recirculation messes up like stuck flow or water too low other than that I don't mess with it, I think he's really talking about damaging the grain husk, but a good push from bottom to top a couple of times just to pull the dry up to the top , not a vigorous swirl stir is fine
     
  4. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    I try to stir every 15 mins or so if i remember. I BIAB so I don't have to worry about disturbing the grain bed
     
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  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Commercial brewers including brew pubs stir, if they can. Caveats, they stir very slowly, if continuously, and the marginal increase in yield is important to their bottom line. It isn't to ours. I wouldn't risk introducing oxygen by stirring after dough in but can see advantages to doing it, mostly keeping the temperature more uniform.
     
  6. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I recirculate and do step mashes with infusions. I'll stir a couple of times during the mash if I need to get the temp stabilized or if it gets stuck, though that's usually at the beginning of the mash. I suppose the argument can be made about keeping things still, but I haven't seen any detriment by stirring now and then. I would definitely stir more if I wasn't recirculating.
     
  7. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I stir as per above when i remember. It helps get more uniform temperature for sure. Youll find its easier to stir mash after 20 min everything gets even more viscous i recon. Its alk up to you :).
     
  8. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    I use to open the mash ton and stir frequently. That made it hard to hold my target temp. on cool days. But lately have thinned out my mash to 1.6 q/lb if the recipe permits and only stir at 30 min. Been working great and allows more time get my kettle set up and hops ready, and relax with a cold one.
     
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  9. thehaze

    thehaze Active Member

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    I usually stir the mash once halfway without any issues.

    I also stir the mash when I sparge and it is moving too slowly or forgot to get rice/oat husks for those grainbills with lots of flaked oats, wheat and rye.

    But this has never caused efficiency issues, nor astringency / taste in the final beer.
     
  10. BoomerBrian

    BoomerBrian Active Member

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    I do BIAB and stir every 15 minutes. No issues with off flavors here.
     
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  11. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Yup. That’s the method outlined in Brewers Best old BIAB kits when they were trying to sell those. Stir every 15.
     
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  12. Edan Z

    Edan Z Member

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    Because I've been doing step mashes, I do need to stir the mash, because I'm adding heat from the bottom. Once everything is stabilized, I leave it alone until the end of that step. I find that stirring any time after that, and the temperature drops because I'm doing BIAB in a stainless steel kettle.

    Last time, as I was stirring to bump the temperature to 158ºF, it did occur to me that I may be releasing tanins from the husks, but I have been really enjoying the results of the last three brew sessions.

    I should also add that because my first mash step is @ only 146ºF, I do end up mashing for about 80 minutes. So far, so good.
     
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  13. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Guess I'm lazy. I don't stir. I preheat my mash tun and stir in my grist. Close the lid and come back in an hour. My temps tend to hold within a degree or two, or three.
     
  14. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I use 30 mins @ 144°, 30 mins @ 156°. Usually 85% or greater conversion efficiency, great results in terms of flavor and fermentability. As to stirring, I stir at each step. I think the fear of oxygen on the hot side is overblown and everything I can read on it sounds more like magic than chemistry. Reasonable precautions are in order, don't splash, don't use the paint stirrer on your drill, try to keep oxygen airstones out of the mash and so forth. But what I read on oxygen in mash sounds more like obsession than process. Bottom line, do what works for your beer.
     
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  15. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    Stir if you have to, don't if you can avoid it.

    With a RIMS system you just recirculate and maintain even temps, even with a step. Sometimes these ideas of "never ever do this" is a repeated wive's tale. When RIMS first started to become popular, there was a lot of BS out there on forums that said it would increase tannin extraction from the grain, but what the detractors failed to realize is that the Germans were doing the same thing for decades with no problems at all. Recirculation is just a gentler way of stirring.

    If no pro's stir, what are they doing with a rake in the mash tun? Used with a little restraint, it's perfectly fine.
     
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  16. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I had a rims set up for years and you mad me think of the BS they kept telling me that I was denaturing the wort through my rims tube when ramping up the temps, I never had bad beer from it lol
     
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  17. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    I think it’s the ultimate homebrew system. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
     
  18. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    It’s the whole, “You want to brew the correct way and get good beer? You’d better do what I say, and not what anyone else says” mantra that is rampant in my local homebrew club. I saw it there 21 years ago and never joined, and it was still there 3 years ago when I decided to try that club again. I’m thankful that I get some pretty good advice here, with extremely little of the I-know-everything-and-everyone-else-knows-nothing to go with it. So a sincere thanks, everyone. And that’s not my homebrew talking. I’ve only had one sip of my first pour tonight.
     
  19. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    This is a good place to be without a doubt. I get so tired of hearing the know it all endless rants elsewhere. Having knowledge and sharing is a great thing. Helping is a great thing. Being a dick cause your an internet forum expert is not a great thing.
    I dig the laid back, helpful, friendly atmosphere here.
     
  20. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Within a few weeks, I'll be doing a recipe collaboration/full-scale brew with a very well-respected local brewery. I'm extremely keen to be involved in a brew day from start to finish and see firsthand which mythical notions about homebrewing are dispelled and which methods translate the most directly to making great beer on a small home-based system.
     

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